Now before you guys go crazy saying "oh man I know that album, man I got that album, blah blah" here's a lil disclaimer.
**MOFO'N DISCLAIMER FOR YA ASS**
The following list is compiled by the opinions and reasonings strictly of the writer and the views expressed by before mentioned blogger may not be agreed upon by all readers of said website, which in fact is the definition of a blog, to express ones own personal views and opinions. Also the content is geared towards informing and teaching the Top 40 Radio *cough(brainwashed)cough* demographic crowd, and not exactly aimed to inform hip hop heads and explorers of music, but for that group to agree and nod in satisfaction to the aforementioned selections. Thank you and stay chillin'.
Now moving onward, Halo 3 and Jill Scott's new album (The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3) came out today so watch out for crazed gamers and neo soul lovers. I gathered a list of the top ten illest albums you might not have heard, the list only includes hip hop albums, and the timeframe is between '99 -'07(I don’t wanna go to far back esp. with only 10 spots to fill, don’t worry pre '99 will be another blog some other day). Also they are in no particular order. And now -- Tank's Top Ten Illest Albums You Might Have Not Heard Before.
1. Jurassic 5 - Quality Control. ~ Now there may be three ways you may know these guys, 1) you've seen they're most recent single "work it out" ft dave matthews video on MTV2, 2) You saw they're "what's Golden" video on MTV for a month or so back in 2002, 3) or you have heard this album, their debut album, bubbling on the underground back in 2000. Which ever way you may have been introduced to Jurassic 5, or J5(no Michael), this album was the start of something so great. 4 MC's, 2 DJ's what more could you ask for...how bout old school boom bap and breakbeat production stylings, a four mc tag-team deliveries and harmonizing choruses. When listening to this album, you cant do anything but nod your head along and smile, its very positive and uplifting hip hop, and it was a fresh new and alternative to the music that was being popularized by hip hop artists in the mid to late 90's onto the 2000's.
Tank's Illest tracks- World of Entertainment, Great Expectations, Jurass Finish First, Quality Control
2. Blu & Exile - Below the Heavens ~ Now many people that explore and look for good music on the internet may know about this album, big ups to the DX peeps and peoples at Nah Right, but other than that many people do not know about this incredible throwback feeling of an album. First off dude is 22, most dudes that are that age that are in the game do not rap about what this dude Blu raps about. He raps about everyday issues and struggles and about love and relationships, just about anything that any regular day guy can go through. And Exile's atmospheric almost "heavenly" sound on production fits perfectly with Blu's lyrical passages. This a def sleeper hit, and one of the top 5 albums of 2007, def doesn’t sound like 2007 hip hop, but this album is one to hear.
Tank's Illest Tracks- My World Is..., The Narrow Path, Dancin' in the Rain, Below the Heavens Pts. 1 & 2
3. Soul Position - 8 Million Stories ~ def one of my favorite underground hip hop albums, the duo from Colombus, OH def have plenty of soul to spread around. The MC(Blueprint) spits verses of a everyday 9 to 5 working man, while the DJ(RJD2) lays out lavish and multi layered soundscapes that will make you nod in enjoyment. Blueprint talks about the ills of having an ignorant girlfriend, reminisces about Nintendo, candy, and 80's fashion, and has plenty of time to tell a dramatic timepiece of a woman looking for love. And throughout these telling tales RJ takes hip hop production to a far away, spaced out, soul and rock infused ride. His production sometimes brings a feeling of hauntingness, creepy, ghostly sense to Blueprints brooding sometimes screechy stretching delivery. Now it may not be 8 million stories on this album but there are plenty of stories to fill even the hungriest of hip hop listeners.
Tank's Illest Tracks- Right Place Wrong Time, No Excuse for Lovin, Share This, The Jerry Springer Episode
4. Madvillian - Madvilliany ~ Now you guys may or may not know about these two artists that make up the peculiar but cohesive duo named Madvillian. MF Doom and Madlib two established underground hip hop artists came together in 2004 to collabo on a album that simply put is short, sweet, and to the point(whatever that point may be). Recondite lyrics from Doom, and few chorus, and weird and imaginative soundscapes def make this a very unfriendly album for people of the radio/MTV/BET demographic. Mostly its always good to hear a east coat MC rhyme over a west coast producer's beats. Just like the album, this is a short description and listening to it makes it the easiest to understand why this a good album. Tank's Illest Tracks- Curls, Accordion, ALL CAPS, Rhinestone Cowboy
5. Atmosphere - Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EPs ~ Now this duo (Slug the MC and Ant the DJ/Producer) has been holding down MN and the Midwest for at 10+ years now, and this is a chopped up and collected offering of all of Atmosphere's EP's(they have had at least 20 of them) up until 2001. This is a perfect introduction to a hip hop group that has unusual beats with neck snapping snares and very imaginative introspective lyrics.
Tank's Illest Track's- Between the Lines, Guns and Cigarettes, The Woman with the Tattooed Hands, If I was Santa Claus.
6. Brother Ali - Shadows on the Sun ~ Brother Ali is a very articulate and very skilled MC, that draws on his ability to transcend anger and self doubt and make it into positives messages that easy convey to any average listener. He can be very introspective, very proud of who is without being claimed as cocky, and its very refreshing to hear a rapper that can man up and admit when he has taken a L. All this is paired with Ant's(from Atmosphere) Jazz, Blues, and Soul infused beats that compliment Ali's deep and sincere delivery and insightful lyrics.
Tank's Illest Tracks- Forest Whitaker, Room with a View, Win Some Lose Some, Champion
7. Little Brother - The Listening ~ this 3 man group first came on the scene in 2003 with a critically acclaimed debut that came reminiscent of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's classic album "Mecca and the Soul Brother". Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh provided the rhymes, 9th Wonder provided the soulful instrumentals, and together they complimented each other. Pooh and Phonte provided some refreshing tight knit flows that sometimes brought out their tag-team wordplay over some insane sounding chopped samples dug out by 9th. The most important factor of this album is the group’s ability and effort to try and make listeners actually...listen. And they also show their frustration at casual listeners who do not want to take the time to listen on a deeper level but instead want to just hear the next "hot song".
Tank's Illest Tracks- So Fabulous, For You, Away From Me, The Listening
8. Kidz in the Hall - School Was my Hustle ~ I first heard about Naledge(MC) and Double-O(DJ) from Just Blaze's Myspace page, how he was mentoring Double-O and he gave a big co-sign to their music. From then on I listened to a couple tracks form there album and instantly understood why Just Blaze associated with them; they had something the hip hop crowd needed to hear. Naledge's smooth delivery blends well with Double-O's incredible beats that show many signs of brilliance. They seem to do their music so effortlessly and again the music def speaks for itself.
Tank's Illest Tracks- Wheelz Fall Off, Hypocrite, Go Ill, Dont Stop.
9. Felt - Vol. 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet ~ You know its gonna be a crazy and wild time when two acclaimed underground rappers with the major habit of talking about girls, self deprecation, and hilarious self accounts make a collabo album. This is exactly it, party, girls, falling in and out of love, a trip to Vegas, and two party worthy mc's along with again the production from Ant that makes it a fun filled with 80's and early 90's rap, funky 70's influenced soul rhyme-a-thon.
Tank's Illest Tracks- Early Mornin Tony, Employees of the Year, Marvini Gaye, Woman Tonight
10. Somobe - The Great Communication ~ I only found out about Somobe because of my west coast brother Brillyance's stamp of approval on his daily blog on HipHopDX.com. So then I went and investigated and listened for myself, and boy was he right about this duo. These two represent Las Vegas, Nevada and Vegas never sounded so hip hop until now. With some live instrumentation with deep skillful lyrics brings Somobe's jazzy soulful sound to effect and they do it really good. This album reminds me of a somewhat lower-key more laidback Roots album, its very diverse and very refreshing with all the lavish hors and drums that come out so smooth on every track. Listen to this album and vibe out.
Tank's Illest Tracks- Building, We Need a Love Song, This is Blitzkrieg, Where I'm Suppose to Be
Well kiddies, that about wraps it up for my list, Talk and discuss, leave comments on your favorites. Also don't chastise, e-threaten, or send me death threats if I didn’t put down a album of yours...all I can say is "you gots to chill" (c)EPMD.
Fuckery at it’s Finest © BlueInGreen